FRESH WAX: Cute Boots, deadCAT

Cute Boots - Born and Raised

Born and Raised
[Self-Released, 2012]


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On their new three-song 7-inch, Born and Raised, Americana outfit Cute Boots do their best to span both sides of the sound spectrum, pairing spirited rock with more pensive and moody material. Side A’s “The Fire,” posted here back in November, is a rambling, high-energy foot stomper that sounds like a countrified, piano-driven version of the Thin Lizzy classic, “The Boys Are Back in Town,” while B-side opener “Tread No Longer, Friend” is a sprawling slow-burner steeped in nostalgic gloom and old-country soul. Bonus cut “The Wire” ties it all together, combining booming melodies and spacious harmonies with hints of rockabilly and uptempo roots-rock. It’s a wonderful dichotomy of sounds — the frantic and the fragile — and Cute Boots handle both sides with confidence, polishing the edges just enough to keep the pace flowing smoothly, but leaving plenty of grit to sink your teeth into. Ultimately, Born and Raised isn’t a new spin on classic rock heroics, but it is an anthemic affirmation of the sort of drama and feeling of triumph the best rock and roll can deliver.

Cute Boots will celebrate the release of Born and Raised this Saturday, February 25th at the Earl. Supporting them will be Sealions and Natalie Prass. Doors open at 9 p.m. $7 gets you in.

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deadCAT - Delecate Daughters

Delecate Daughters
[Bad Pop, 2012]


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I’m not sure how it turned out this way. It seems like the longer experimental noise-pop duo deadCAT continue to compose and record music, the more dreamy and melodic their songs become, which, in turn, inexplicably leads me to appreciate them a little more each time I hear them. I mean, I really enjoyed the frazzled and frayed pop, rock and hip-hop deconstruction of the group’s last EP, EatSOME, and with that record I thought the duo had achieved the rather remarkable feat of setting themselves apart from most of their local psych-rock and pop contemporaries. And yet, here they are with the new “Delecate Daughters” single (released on Monday via Mexican label Bad Pop), and the duo sound dreamier, more laid-back, chill and reverbed-out than they ever have. A part of me feels like grumbling about this drift into such well-trodden territory, but honestly, these tracks are just too infectious and well-conceived for me to complain. Title cut “Delecate Daughters” is lush and diffuse, a warm chillwave dance jam that manages to maintain its sense of ambient beauty amidst an echoing swirl of grimy synths and stripped-down percussion. “Bitchs” is even better, interjecting a little funk and some sensual Latin-flavored grooves into the duo’s otherwise gauzy and narcotic pop. Together the two tracks exude a balmy sun-baked warmth that leaves you pining for summer skies and ocean breezes. Whether or not deadCAT have made a permanent shift away from their more aggressive and abrasive tendencies is anyone’s guess, but for now they seem content with manufacturing good vibes, and it all feels mighty fine to me.

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